Self Employed And Working From Home
Working from home seems like the ideal workplace. Instead of putting smart uncomfortable clothes on, you stroll around in your PJ’s and make a coffee before getting to your work area (desk, bed, sofa or whatever other spot you chose for the day).
In this article I will give a list of 50 pros and cons of working at home as a self employed person.
I’ve recently got let go and decided to take on a job I would enjoy doing rather than suffering through the day.
Now I want to outline what difficulties I face daily and what I love about this new job as well.
Working at home is an amazing feeling but I’m not sure it is for everyone.
So I decided to outline the pros and cons working from home can offer, so that you can make up your mind if this is something for you.
I am mainly going to talk about being self employed and working from home but some of the points might also include to those who are employed by a company and working at home.
Sometimes there isn’t a great division between those two!
Let’s Start With The Pros
- Wear What You Want – As mentioned in the introduction, you don’t need to be uncomfortable or impress people with a tie. Pj’s and slippers from here on out! No more sweating in summer in your suits.
- No Deadlines – No more pressure to complete tasks under a certain deadline. You can choose your own deadlines and work towards these.
- No Wake Up Alarm – That’s correct, you can wake up whenever you please! Who doesn’t hate the sound of an alarm?
- Planned Cigarette Breaks – You can take a break whenever you please now. No more tactical ciggie breaks in order to get some ‘fresh’ air.
- Music Please – Some offices might allow earphones but most don’t. At home you can blast your favorite tunes as you work along.
- Peace And Quiet – Depending on what job you do, you won’t have the constant noise of phones ringing, printers going of, fax machines, people sneezing and coughing. It’s just you and your noises!
- Done With Colleagues – Although being surrounded by colleagues can be fun, there’s always the bunch you can’t stand and are near you every day in an office. One of the work at home advantages, is that you have your own peace.
- Errands Can Be Done Whenever – Especially in Luxembourg (my home country), all the shops tend to close at 6pm and some shopping malls close at 8. If you work from 9-6 and with the occasional overtime, which let’s you run out the office at 7:30, it can be difficult to get anything done during the week. Going to the bank or post office is also impossible. When working at home, you can do all these all day long!
- Weekend Every Day – Technically every day could be a weekend!
- Can I Take The Day Off? – You don’t have to ask for permission and beg colleagues to switch holidays with you! Leave whenever you please.
- Morning Traffic – You don’t have to get up extra early to beat the traffic or catch a bus!
- Canteen Food – No more expensive meals that taste horrible. Not only do you save money by cooking your own food, you’re also a lot healthier by doing so (unless you like oven ready meals).
- Did You Do That Yet? – You don’t have to rely on others to get your work done!
- Quality Time – If you have kids you can spend more time with them at home.
- I Made A Mistake.. Oh Well – If you make mistakes, you don’t have to worry about not getting that promotion. You’re responsible and you can take care of it.
- Tax Benefits – If you have a company, a lot of tax benefits are just around the corner.
- No Supervision – You don’t have to feel like someones watching over your shoulder all the time anymore.
- Productive – You’re probably more productive than in an office job, as you actually have the motivation now to work for yourself.
- Deserved Promotion – Instead of slaving away and working hard just to receive the same paycheck every month, you can actually see more money coming your way the harder you work!
- Money Savings – I mentioned that you save on food by eating self cooked meals, but there are more money saving factors by working at home. No more gas or fuel spent to commute (or public transport) no more fancy clothes to buy, dry cleaners to pay, social events to attend. I easily spent around €400 a year just to my suits dry cleaned. Now imagine what all the other expenses would have added up to on a yearly basis.
- Always At Home – When things break or you expect deliveries, you don’t need to take the time off to accept packages, let the plumber in or the technician. You’re always available now
- Generally Less Stress – I don’t think I’ve ever had a headache or bad sleep since I started my home business. I don’t ever feel stressed anymore which is pretty priceless!
- Home Is A Relative Term – Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. You can take your laptop and work from anywhere. Direct all calls to your mobile-/cellphone.
- Payday End Of The Month – You choose when your payday is. Don’t wait until the end or beginning of the month. If you need cash, transfer some funds over and you’re done.
- Calling In Sick – Sometimes you might feel under the weather or can’t make it to work on time due to weather conditions. This has a negative effect on your working hours and has to be compensated. Now that you’re working from home you can work even if you’re sick or there’s horrible weather outside. Unless you decide to take the day off of course.
To Every Positive There’s a Negative
- Work And Home Same Place – Have you ever heard the saying or expression “Don’t s**t where you eat”? It kind of applies here. Working in the same place you live in can be a bit annoying.
- Workaholic – Being surrounded by work all the time can lead to being a workaholic. I often want to jump up from the sofa while watching a film to add some finishing touches to a project I’ve just started or finished.
- Wake Up! – Although I don’t have to set an alarm, I kind of have to. The earlier I wake up, the more productive the day will be.
- Organization Is Key – If you’re not organized there will be chaos and your business will suffer. Being your own boss can make this a hard task at times since you have to delegate the work to yourself and know how to do work at home efficiently.
- Lost For Work – Depending on the job you do, it can sometimes lead to cluelessness. I have days where I finish my tasks rather quickly and feel a bit lost on what to do next.
- No Clients – In big organizations, there will always be work and money coming in. If you lost your major client, there’s no paycheck for the next month. Therefore you constantly have to make sure there is a demand for your service. It can be a scary experience, especially when you’re just starting out.
- Stay Educated – You constantly have to improve to keep up with competition.
- Distractions Everywhere – Although I got distracted all the time in the office by something, being at home can be hard on someone that’s easily distracted like me. One vibration of the phone can easily lead to a quick gaming session, YouTube videos, Facebook notifications and more.
- Not Enough Breaks – I often forget to take breaks because I lose myself in my work which can be really bad. I usually do some work, go to the gym and get back to work after. Now that I’ve injured myself, I don’t go to the gym and I find myself sitting on my chair working for several hours straight and forget to eat lunch etc. In an office, lunch was at a set time so you were kind of forced to go (when you got the chance to go).
- Loneliness – Although I quite enjoy having my alone time and not having to put on a mask to please other people all the time, some people might get depressed or feel lonely if they’re isolated at home with their work.
- Every Day Is A Work Day – Although you can choose to take a day off whenever you please and every day can be a weekend. I find myself working every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. This might only be so because I just started out. Eventually I will probably take more days off as the business grows. I can then outsource most tasks as well.
- Have I Done This Yet? – You can’t split tasks with anyone (unless you outsource) so you have to constantly write down everything you want to complete.
- Make Sure To Backup – I highly encourage to backup all your files and documents. If you make a mistake you can’t ask someone to help you out. You have to figure out the issues yourself.
- Quality Time? – Becoming self employed at home can often lead to overworking. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your spouse or kids.
- Work Environment – You should Ideally choose a good spot to do your work at. Although you can be doing it in bed, on the sofa, etc. It’s better to have a decent chair and desk where you can work efficiently.
- Becoming Laid Back – Now that you don’t have to wear formal clothes, have someone observing you and work for yourself you can relax a bit. But don’t become to relaxed as you will perform less efficient and it will cause a decline in your income.
- Always At Home – Get out the house or you’ll get sick of your house. You wake up, work and sleep in the same environment. Switch it up a bit!
- Avoid Being Sick – When you’re ill or sick, you might not feel like working. But without having someone working on your business, clients and customers will leave empty handed and so will your bank account.
- Chores To Complete – Now that all the extra free time is available, you feel obliged to take care of the laundry, repaint that wall, fix the door etc. Too many chores come up that pull you away from work.
- Who Are You – If you’ve started your own business, you have to make a name for yourself and get out there. Credibility as well as branding starts from 0. Not always an easy task.
- The Right Equipment – Make sure to have to right stationaries and tools around you. Recently my laptops been acting up a bit and a lagging PC can really effect my productivity. I also had to invest in a desk and comfortable chair to be able to work properly. All this has to be paid from my own wallet!
- Lose Social Touch – Working in a corporate environment teaches you how to be social and interact with other people. Being alone and surrounded by virtual friends can be tough for some!
- No Teacher – You have to learn everything by yourself. No ones there to tell you wrong from right.
- Measured Performance – If you don’t measure your performance you will have no clue if you need to work harder, more efficient, where your weaknesses and strengths are.
- Flexibility – Yes it is probably one of the biggest benefits of working from home alone, but it can also be the biggest negative. Now that you’re more flexible than ever, your mother might ask you to take care of a small errand, your father wants you to visit this person, your sister or bother wants you to help them out with this etc. The list is endless and since you have all the time in the world you’re relied on taking care of everything for everyone else.
Now that you have a list of 50 points, you can make your own conclusion.
Personally I think that most work from home advantages outweigh the cons.
Additionally all the cons mentioned can usually be taken care of easily.
The main point is to stay productive and organized as well as taking enough breaks.
Anyone can work from home if they put enough effort into it. It’s easier than ever these days.
All it takes is some motivations.
Now I would like to know what your thoughts are. Would you enjoy working from home or rather separate work and private life?
Are you already working from home? If so what difficulties or benefits affect you the most?
Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this list please share it on your social media or with friends.